Turmoil in Ivory Coast, vice president resigns days after PM’s death
London, July 13, 2020 (AltAfrica)–Ivory Coast Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan has resigned, the presidency said on Monday, further unsettling the political outlook days after the sudden death of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, President Alassane Ouattara’s designated successor.
The death last week of Gon Coulibaly, hand-picked by Ouattara to run in October’s presidential election, has left the ruling party scrambling to find a replacement candidate, a process likely to reveal internal divisions, analysts say.
Duncan was leaving for “reasons of personal convenience”, Patrick Achi, a top aide to Ouattara, said in a statement to reporters.
Achi said that Duncan, who had previously served as Ouattara’s prime minister, first tendered his resignation in February and that Ouattara finally accepted it last Wednesday after a series of meetings between the two men.
Last Wednesday was also the day that Gon Coulibaly, who had longstanding heart problems, died after a cabinet meeting. Gon Coulibaly had been the ruling party’s candidate for a presidential election in October, hand-picked by Ouattara after the president decided not to stand for a third term.
Following Gon Coulibaly’s death, Ouattara’s RHDP party has said it may ask the president to rethink his decision not to seek another term.
Ouattara came to power in 2011 following an election the previous year that sparked a brief civil war when the defeated incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to concede.
Despite several years of relative peace, ethnic and regional rivalries linger, and this year’s election is seen as test of stability for Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer and one of West Africa’s largest economies.
Following Gon Coulibaly’s death, Ouattara’s RHDP party said last week that it may ask the president to rethink his decision not to seek another term.
This could help to unify the party but would draw fierce criticism from Ouattara’s opponents, who say the constitution does not allow him to run again. Reuters